Plot is designed to cater for all stages of a festival lifecycle and is constantly evolving, with new features always being added to improve the user experience. Plot sites can be adapted, changed and updated according to a festival team’s bespoke needs – from sign up forms to banner ads, line-up release info to filterable artist pages, all on a quick to launch and load website that looks beautiful and engages users. Importantly, a Plot festival website is full of features, meaning customers can completely remove any ongoing costs for third party design and development once the website is launched. Here we chat to create Christian Hill about his role at the platform.
How has your year been so far?
Yeah it’s been ok, even during lockdown we’ve been planning festivals for 2021, but I’m not going to lie, lots of potential projects have gone away due to the world situation. As of today the tides have turned and I can feel the surge of collective positivity and everyones sticking their head up and starting to plan.
Tell us about the team behind PLOT. What sort of staff do you have?
We are a pretty small but talented team that are passionate about festivals and live event experiences. We have some rather amazing designers, developers and product specialists that are bringing our client and internal product dreams to life. Average age is around 30 and everyone is pretty much a festival veteran or been involved in the music industry.
Who started the company, when, and what was it born out of?
So myself and Michael, my business partner, started an agency called Project Simply about 10 years ago that specialises in creating best in class festival, venues and consumer experience led brands and websites. We’ve then taken this knowledge and a passion for helping smaller festivals to create Plot, our serviced festival website product that reduces time to market, cost and admin time whilst still producing amazing and highly engaging festival websites.
What is your role day to day, what do you do?
I look after the strategic direction of the business and plan out its growth via marketing, sales and partnerships. On a day to day basis I’m checking up on progress, developing new relationships, attending and speaking at seminars and events as well as doing a healthy dose of swanning about and meeting people. Strong relationships are as good as a strong product.
What is the company’s mission and vision – who do you serve?
Plot’s mission is to become the world leader in festival websites. We are passionate about giving all festivals, regardless of budget or size, an opportunity to create something special and create a success. We’d like to be serving 500 festivals globally in under 3 years.
How have you evolved over the years?
We found that working on larger festivals with larger budgets was great and really meant we could produce some creative successes. We then started to get approached by smaller festivals who had brilliant ideas and passion but much smaller budgets, which hamstrung us a little bit in the creative time and effort we could put into the project. In the end we found we were unable to work with lots of really great up and coming festivals, which was a bit upsetting. So we set out to create Plot, which still provided a high level of output but required less budget and ultimately meant we could then work with a broader range of festivals.
What are the key things a festival website needs that is different to other sites?
It’s important to remember that festival sites are in their basic element, an ecommerce experience so the differences between other sites are sometimes just semantics. It’s crucial to help the user validate a purchase quickly and easily via experience, social proof, lineups for creative excellence. It’s also very important to make sure the buying process is smooth and seamless or you are going to lose people quickly. We are constantly working to improve the ticket purchase process as well as tracking what works best on various pages on the festival website.
How did you learn these, what gave you the experience needed to make this offering?
We’ve been working with festival websites for years now, creating some of the most creatively experimental sites you can think of, including Parklife, Snowbombing and Sundown, and as a part of the process, you track what works and what doesn’t, and you listen to the festival marketing teams about what they like, what they don’t and what would make their lives easier. Then we built our product Plot around all the best things we knew worked and included all the things we knew marketing teams needed.
How do you do all this on a budget and so quickly?
The big difference between PLot and a bespoke build is design time. Plot is built in such a way it has lots of design variables to create unique sites but it doesn’t have a custom design process. This cuts away huge amounts of time and budget which means we can create a festival website in under a week at a fraction of the budget.
What tips do you have for anyone looking to get a festival website up and running?
Find someone who understands how to create something creative but highly usable, across all devices, mobile first. What you don’t want to do is spend loads of time and effort and have something that looks great but confuses people and doesn’t sell tickets.